Coronavirus pandemic: Japanese doctor who decried quarantine of cruise ship says Tokyo Olympics should not happen

Japanese government officials have said the Olympics will go ahead as scheduled and will not be held behind closed doors

Reuters March 19, 2020 12:56:37 IST
Coronavirus pandemic: Japanese doctor who decried quarantine of cruise ship says Tokyo Olympics should not happen

Tokyo: The Japanese doctor who created a media firestorm with videos criticising the quarantine of a coronavirus -stricken cruise ship said he now believes the Tokyo 2020 Olympics should not go on.

 <span class=Coronavirus pandemic Japanese doctor who decried quarantine of cruise ship says Tokyo Olympics should not happen" width="380" height="285" class="size-full wp-image-8016311" />

The cruise ship Diamond Princess is docked at Yokohama Port, near Tokyo. AP

Kentaro Iwata, a professor of infectious disease at Kobe University, said on his blog on Thursday that it’s not clear that the outbreak in Japan will have subsided by the planned start of the Games in July. Also, the flood of foreign visitors could exacerbate the spread of the disease, known as COVID-19 .

Japanese government officials have said the Olympics will go ahead as scheduled and will not be held behind closed doors.

“The Olympics are not just a mass gathering, but a mass gathering from all over the world, while COVID is a global pandemic,” Iwata wrote. “These two things don’t go together.”

Iwata boarded the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in February and his YouTube videos decrying the conditions there garnered more than a million views.

Iwata said that bureaucrats, and not infectious disease professionals, were running the quarantine and that basic protocols on zoning and the use of protective gear were not followed.

Japan has recorded more than 1,600 cases of the virus, including about 700 from the Diamond Princess. 39 people have died, including seven from the liner.

The virus has spread around the world, with more than 2,18,000 confirmed cases and 8,900 deaths.

Follow LIVE updates on coronavirus pandemic here

Updated Date:

also read

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Virus surge fuels fear as 100-day countdown for Games begin
Sports

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Virus surge fuels fear as 100-day countdown for Games begin

Even as Tokyo unveiled installations featuring the Olympic rings and mascots to celebrate the 100-day milestone, organisers face monumental challenges as virus surges.

Tokyo-bound Sania Mirza included in TOPS four years after she opted out of scheme
Sports

Tokyo-bound Sania Mirza included in TOPS four years after she opted out of scheme

Sania was selected in the TOPS during the 56th meeting of the Mission Olympic Cell in New Delhi.

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Diving World Cup to be held in Tokyo in May, confirm organisers
Sports

Tokyo Olympics 2020: Diving World Cup to be held in Tokyo in May, confirm organisers

Tokyo 2020 and FINA said the decision to reschedule the Diving World Cup came after "a very fruitful consultation process" also involving the Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee.